The last day of 2010. This year has gone by so quickly and so much has changed. We have gone from living out of temporary lodging into a home, from a life where Scott was home just about every night to one that he spends many nights away from his family. From being homeowners to renters, from having a little one that I could still call a baby to one that is most definitely not anymore. So much happens in just one year and I am so glad that I have been able to capture our life through this blog. It hasn't always been pretty, but it is who we are. I want our girls to be able to look back at this one day so they understand where they came from and how they became who they are. Scott and I were talking the other day about how wonderful it would be to know what our lives were like when we were this little. Sure, we know what our parents tell us, but as a parent now, I realize how quickly one forgets the little things and how easy it is to think you remember something one of your children did, only later to realize it happened, just not to the child you first thought. We aren't perfect and so how could our memories possibly be perfect? So, I am grateful to have the ability to capture our day to day life. I want to see if there is some way I can make a book out of this blog so the kids will have access to it when they are grown. I am so thankful for many things this past year and I look forward to 2011 being just as wonderful. It was hard starting out the year in a new place with no friends living nearby, but we have been blessed with new friends and it is starting to feel like home here now. I think Abby feels the same way. She still asks about Florida and says she wants to go back, but it doesn't happen as often and it doesn't seem to upset her when we tell her that isn't possible. Mckenzie is lucky this move. She was too young to understand what was happening. This is where her first memories will come from and I hope we can make them as memorable as Abby's are for her.
Today was busy for us and started off early. 6:30 is when Mckenzie came over to our room. (Funny how I consider that early now when it wasn't too long ago that we considered that sleeping in. Can't say I miss getting the girls up so early in the morning so I could go to work.) Mckenzie was ready for her first yogurt so Scott took her downstairs. We went to Perkins for breakfast this morning and then we headed over to the mall. Scott needed a haircut and after he was done, we split up and finished our errands with only one kid in tow. Makes life much easier. Scott wanted to do a little shopping for birthdays and I needed to make arrangements for Abby's birthday. Got those things squared away and we all met up for a kids New Year's Eve party at an indoor play area. The girls had a blast playing, eating pizza, getting their faces painted, and ringing in the New Year with horns and balloons. Lots of fun and only a few tears. Mckenzie got scared in the big play area once and another time she starting crying because a boy hit her. Other than that, it was all good. Abby played so hard, she was sweating and her little face was so red! Scott and I were exhausted when we left, but the girls seemed to be filled with energy. I don't know how that works! Scott had to finish up a couple of errands so I took the girls home while he did that. We took the easy way out for dinner and ordered in. We really need to stop doing so much of that this coming year. Scott gave me my birthday present and bought a cake for Abby and me. So, we did our birthday cakes a little early. Very sweet and thoughtful of Scott. We let the girls run a little bit of the sugar out of their body before trying to put them to bed.I am hoping we can stay up until midnight to watch the ball drop. It would be fun to be able to be in NYC to see it live, but there is no way I would ever do it with kids in tow.
Mckenzie wanted to show me her sad face.


Abby ended up in our bed again last night. Even though it is a big bed, it gets a little cozy in there! And then, Mckenzie came over this morning and wanted up as well. That didn't last long and her and I ended up downstairs getting her a yogurt. I swear that kid could live off of yogurt! Abby came downstairs a little later, letting Scott sleep in for once. I made some pancakes for breakfast and we hung around the house today. We finally got some shelves hung up in the girls' rooms and Mckenzie's room is finally completed (minus a bookcase, just need to find one I like that doesn't cost a fortune!). We still have a couple of pictures to hang in Abby's room, I just can't decide where to hang them. We ran to the base so Scott could pick up a few things and then we met some friends for dinner. They are in the area visiting family so we picked a place half way between to grab a bite to eat. It was great to catch up with them and so much fun to watch the kids get along so well. It was a short visit, but great nonetheless. Much less traffic on the way home and the girls were both quiet unless they were singing the Diego theme song. Both girls are in bed. Abby didn't want to go to sleep again so I am guessing we will have a visitor sometime in the middle of the night.


Abby ended up in our bed some time during the night and Mckenzie slept in. Go figure!  Scott took the car in to get an oil change and the girls and I stayed at home and played. Seems like they fought over every little thing this mornign. Gotta love those days. After lunch, I took the girls out to play in the snow. They were wearing last years snowpants which were about 3 inches too short and tennis shoes because their snow boots don't fit any more, but they had a blast out there! Scott came home shortly after we went out and it was so fun for all of us, Dakota included, to play outside. Abby couldn't get enough of being the "king of the hill" and rolling down the hill or throwing snowballs. Mckenzie had a heck of a time standing up in the snow and so she decided she would roll everywhere she went. She liked throwing snowballs at me. She would get so close to me and then still miss! It would either fall behind her as she lifted her arm to throw, or she would miss me by a mile. I love how much fun they had running around out there. Watching the dog was funny too. She would chase snowballs and then wonder where they went or take a bite out of the snow. A couple of times, we caught her rolling around in the snow. I had a follow up eye appointment this afternoon and Scott took the girls with him while he got his truck cleaned and oil changed. It seems like we have so many things we need to get done in the next few days.  I ran a few errands before we met up at Best Buy. I needed to get boots for the girls as they were wearing tennis shoes earlier and their poor toes got very cold! We went to dinner at Pei Wei (a Chinese restaurant) and were pleasantly surprised. It was very tasty and great service. Abby wanted to use chopsticks and did a good job doing so. A very nice lady next to us gave us the holder that makes it easier to use chopsticks. The best part  was how fun Abby had using the chopsticks. Mckenzie just played with her sticks and kept dropping them. Knowing that in just a few days, our dining out experiences will probably be limited to Chick fil A, I had a great time. Abby and I put together her Tinkerbell puzzle and she was so proud when she finished. It was 100 pieces and the first time she has done one that big! Mckenzie and Scott worked on shapes and colors while we did that and then it was bedtime. Abby has been fighting going to sleep a little bit, but Mckenzie went right to sleep. Probably because she didn't get much of a nap (she did fall asleep on Scott's shoulder in Best Buy, but I'm not sure that counts!).


GAME DAY!!!!!!

Scott had to run to work this morning to get things completely squared away for his deployment. It turns out they are letting him leave on Sunday instead of Saturday, he just had to arrange for his airline ticket. Yea for that! Scott took Abby with him to work and said she was very good and spent her time drawing and eating tootsie rolls! Mckenzie and I stayed at home while the housekeeper was here. I felt bad because the house was such a mess from taking down all the Christmas decorations last night. I didn't want to have to take everything down by myself so as much as it sucked, we took things down early. We did leave the tree up because the girls were upset by the idea of everything being gone. We can take that down later this week! Scott took both girls out on a date to Chick fil A for lunch. He said they had so much fun and made some new friends! I ran to Target while they were out to pick up a new storage system for the toys in the playroom. Both girls were supposedly napping in our room when I got home. Turns out, they were playing in there instead. So, Abby came downstairs to play and Mckenzie took a nap. Then, it was time for us to go to the game! Scott and I went to our first NFL game tonight. Vikings vs. Eagles. We were expecting a blowout since the Vikings have been playing terrible and Farve was still out, but it turns out the Vikings won!!!! 24-14!!!! It was so fun. At first I was a little nervous to be cheering so much since every time we cheered for the Vikings, people would give us dirty looks, but finally I decided it didn't matter! One guy behind us joked that as long as we were in the stadium we were safe, but as soon as we got to the parking lot, there was no telling. I find it funny that people get annoyed that we wanted to cheer for our team, as though we should sit there quietly when our team did something good. Seriously people, we are fans just like you. I don't begrudge you cheering for your team, you should have the same respect for me! Anyway, it was a lot of fun and I am so glad that we got to have a date. I am really going to miss Scott and I hope this time goes quickly! Getting out of the parking lot took quite a bit of time, but we made it home by 1. Mckenzie gave our babysitter a tough time, not wanting to go to sleep and she ended up putting her in our room. I managed to transfer the little bugger without her waking up so I am very happy for that!


We ended up getting about a foot of snow. It always looks so pretty when it is untouched! It was very windy today, so we didn't take the girls outside to play in the snow. They both wanted to go out a lot, but they were content to watch Scott shovel the driveway and sidewalk. Thank God for great neighbors who came over with their snowblower! What a great help! After nap, we went to Best Buy to exchange one of my Christmas gifts. It was pretty busy in there, but didn't take too long to get in and out. We decided to go out to dinner. Shocking I know! We went to Olive Garden for an early dinner, jokingly referring to it as my birthday dinner a little early! (probably won't venture out by myself with both girls to a nice dinner on my actual birthday!)  I think we even beat the early birds! Thankfully the girls were well behaved at dinner. We never can predict how they are going to behave when we go out. Sometimes they are as good as gold and other times, we wish we would have stayed at home! On the way home, Abby was kind of funny. She asked me if they could play for a little bit when we got home and considering it was only after 6pm, I agreed. Then, I heard her tell Mckenzie how it was going to go down when we got home. She basically said they could play for a little bit, but then it was time for pjs and no story tonight because they were staying up past their bedtime. I love how she thinks it is so late because it is dark outside!


It started snowing this afternoon, so we took the girls out for a little bit before it got too cold. It was pretty windy and there wasn't much snow yet, but the girls had so much fun! They both love playing in the snow! We were all pretty tuckered out after that, so we took a nap. We were supposed to go to the Vikings game against the Eagles tonight, but it was postponed due to the weather. So, we made some appetizers for dinner and watched Christmas movies as a family. It was a nice relaxing day. The girls opened just about every toy they got for Christmas. Although, it seemed to me they were bored with a toy before we got all the packaging off. Mckenzie just loves driving her car around and has gotten pretty good. Abby likes to hop on the back for a ride and sometimes Mckenzie will let her! We played Perfection tonight and Abby is starting to get the hang of it. It's fun to see her playing with a game that I played with as a kid. I remember my sister Sarah got Perfection as a Christmas gift one year and we had so much fun playing it! I hope Abby has good memories with it too!


Ok, it's officially Christmas, so Merry Christmas today! We woke the girls up because they slept in. We all came downstairs together to see what Santa had left for us. Boy was he good to the girls! Mckenzie got a quad wheeler to ride around and Abby got a camper for her Barbie dolls, plus a bunch of other little things. Both girls were very excited for their gifts. Abby was a little disappointed at first that she didn't get a new car to ride, but once she realized she had new Barbies and a camper, she was over it! It was so fun to watch the girls dig through their stockings. Oh, I think their favorite Santa gift may have been the harmonica. Not sure what Santa was thinking when he sent that along! I made an egg bake for breakfast and it turned out pretty darn tasty and it was a great way to use up some of that ham we had for dinner. We spent the day in the house, playing with all the new toys. Scott bought me a popcorn popper so I ran to the store to pick up some popcorn. Good thing Walgreen's was open! So, we had popcorn and watched Toy Story 3 tonight. Both girls really enjoyed watching it. Great family night!


Merry Christmas! Ok, well, Merry Christmas Eve. What a wonderful day! Scott got up with the girls this morning and they were so anxious to open presents. It's hard to be so little and have to wait so long for presents! I ran to the mall because I realized last night that I hadn't bought the girls dresses for Christmas. I bought them outfits for our pictures that I thought we could use for Christmas as well, but after seeing them in pictures, I decided it wasn't what I wanted for Christmas. Anyway, long story short, I managed to find matching dresses for the girls pretty quickly and even had time to pick up some Chipotle for lunch on the way home. We did nap time and then worked on preparing for dinner. We went to church this evening and then back home for Christmas dinner. I made the worst ever mashed potatoes and had to throw them out and opt for instant ones instead! They were so bad Scott couldn't even lie to me and say they weren't that bad! After dinner, we did a quick clean up and then the best part of the night. The girls got to open all their presents and it was so fun to watch! Abby kept giving me hugs saying thank you for the great gifts and telling me how much she loved me. Her favs had to be her Olivia stuff and her zhu zhu pets. Although, she was so excited every time she opened a gift it was hard to tell what was her favorite. Mckenzie actually wanted to open her own gifts this year and enjoyed doing it. Her hands down favorite gifts were a computer and a kitty that walks and her baby dolls. When she opened her doll, she got a big smile on her face and in her sweet little voiced said "a baaaby doll!". This Christmas so was much fun! Both girls were well behaved and shared their new toys with one another. I loved watching them open their gifts and seeing the smiles on their faces as they ripped off the paper. It was a wonderful night! We let the girls stay up a little late to play with a few of their toys. Then we went outside to spread around some reindeer food for Santa's reindeer. The girls wet out a plate of cookies for Santa and then it was off to bed. A few minutes after the girls were in bed, I heard a noise that sounded like Santa so I ran upstairs to get the girls out of bed. Turns out it was "Santa" eating his cookies! I told the girls not to make any noise or to let Santa see them as we watched him from the opening into the living room. Abby was a little shy about going to see Santa, afraid she would get caught. Mckenzie put her hands on her cheeks with a huge smile on her face and ran to see Santa! It was so fun to watch them watch Santa. Luckily, I got the girls back to bed before Santa saw them! It was too bad that Scott missed seeing Santa;) Scott talked to Abby about what she saw and she was so nervous Santa was going to come back and take her toys away. She told Scott how santa was dressed in red with black boots and how he ate the cookies and even said "ho, ho, ho". I love it. What a most wonderful Christmas Eve!


Yay! Both girls slept in their own beds all night long! I forgot how restful a night of sleep can be! I ran to the store to pick up a couple of forgotten grocery items for our dinner tomorrow. I have to say that even though there was no parking to be had at the grocery store, no space to maneuver through the aisles, it was the most peaceful and enjoyable shopping trip in a long time. Why might you ask? Because both girls were at home with Scott and I didn't have to push that huge car cart! Scott had to run into work for a little bit today to get things squared away for his deployment. Mckenzie took a nap and Abby and I played a few games and I worked on the laundry. The girls had gymnastics tonight and Abby learned how to do a pike jump. She is doing great! Mckenzie did well too, but I think she did better because Scott went onto the floor with her. Every time Mckenzie finished her circuit, she would head towards the table with stamps. Dinner out at our local restaurant and then bed for the girls.


I was lucky enough to sleep on both Abby and Mckenzie's floor last night! Abby went back to sleep pretty quickly, but Mckenzie didn't go back to sleep and so we have been awake since 5! So, Mckenzie and I went to my bed and we all watched a little tv until Abby woke up. Scott took the girls downstairs for breakfast and let me catch a few zzz's. He is such a sweetie. I am going to be lost during his deployment :( I made some more Christmas cookies today and lets just say, they are not as good as the ones Sheri's Mom used to make. Not exactly sure where I went wrong... Maybe I will just have to order some from her next Christmas! I was going to make some sugar cookies, but the turtle cookies took way too long and the house needed to be cleaned. So, Mckenzie took a nap and Abby played so well by herself this afternoon, letting me get the house in shape. It feels so much better around here now that all the floors are mopped. Mckenzie colored after nap, more on her hands than on the paper and Abby worked on writing her letters. She is getting so good at them and I love how proud she is of her work. Scott picked up some groceries for our Christmas dinner on his way home from work today (I love when he grocery shops for us!). We had a quiet evening and before ya know it, it was bedtime! Abby and Scott worked on reading while I worked on colors with Mckenzie. Scott was way more successful getting Abby to read than I was at getting Mckenzie to say the right colors! I am so proud of Abby for trying to read. Her face beamed every time she was able to sound out a word.


The girls didn't want to go anywhere this morning or get clothes on, so we stayed at home. Mckenzie prefers to be without a shirt lately, which makes it tough to get her dressed. Abby just likes to follow the crowd! I seem to have picked up a little sinus thing so I didn't feel like going out anyway. When Scott got home from work, I ran to the post office and to get my eyes checked. I am out of contacts and my glasses are an pretty old prescription, so things are a little blurry lately, especially at night. When I got home, we went to church for Sunday school and for caroling/cookie exchange. It was a very nice time. Abby really enjoyed going with the other kids to do some singing/lessons. Scott was trying to be nice by helping set up the chairs for the caroling part and he got yelled at by a lady for doing so. She told him not to move anymore chairs because he was doing it wrong! Seriously? Not very gracious if you ask me. So, we sat around until it was time to sing and for the kids to return. We met some nice people at the service and it was good to sing some Christmas songs and have fellowship. The girls were on a sugar high when we got home from the cookies so we let them run around for a little while before putting them to bed. I forgot to write the other day about Mckenzie scolding me. She came into the family room where I was sitting at the computer, hands on her hips and said "you broke it!" very loudly, several times. I wasn't sure what she was talking about, but luckily Scott was just a few steps behind to let me know she was talking about the dining room chair (the arm broke off the other day). Didn't realize I needed to apologize to my 2 year old when I break my things around the house!


Abby slept in our bed again last night, complaining she is scared of her room. Last time she went through a phase like this, we lived in Florida and ended up scaring away all the monsters by blowing kisses all around her room. I hope this time it doesn't last as long! Our morning got off to a late and slow start. Mckenzie slept until 8 and Abby woke up after 9! I like to sleep in, but I feel like the whole day is wasted. I don't know when that change happened, I used to love sleeping in until noon! Scott headed into work and the girls and I stayed at home. It is just too cold to play outside and I think the girls are getting a little tired of playing inside. When Scott got home, we all headed to Target and to the grocery store. Mckenzie was so tired she fell asleep in the cart at Target! Abby and I did the grocery shopping by ourselves because Mckenzie decided she didn't want to and preferred to sit in her carseat and watch a movie. It made it easy for me. Grocery shopping with an almost 5 year old is easy! I made some baby back ribs for dinner tonight and they were pretty darn tasty. Even Abby liked them! Mckenzie ate them, but she wasn't too happy about it! Mckenzie has started copying Abby's actions and words a lot more lately and it is starting to bug Abby. I don't know how many times a day I hear "don't copy me Mckenzie". It is so hard to explain to Abby that it is normal for Mckenzie to copy people so that she learns how to behave. Scott was tickling both girls earlier and it is so funny to listen to them. Both girls beg to be tickled and two seconds later, they are saying they can't take it anymore!


Abby had her Holiday Happenings party (aka Christmas party, but apparently it is no longer acceptable to call it a Christmas party) at school today. Both girls had so much fun. Santa showed up and there were snacks and crafts for the kids. Abby and her little friend jumped right up on Santa's lap and Abby told him she wanted a barbie. Whew! At least she will be getting one thing she has asked for lately. Mckenzie was a little bashful, but Scott set her on Santa's lap and in no time she was smiling. What a great party for all the kids. Our photographs that we had taken earlier this month arrived so we picked them up on the way home from the party. Great photos and she was kind enough to give Scott a brag book that is small enough that he will be able to take it with on his deployment. I am so happy with the quality of the photos and I am so glad we took the time to have them taken. Scott and I had a squadron Christmas party tonight and it turned out to be a pretty good time. The invitation stated you could wear semi holiday casual or dress silly. Scott talked to quite a few guys who said they were dressing silly, so we thought it would be fun to get some ugly sweaters too. Well, when we walked into the country club, I asked Scott where his party was because everyone was dressed in suits and in very nice dresses. I felt very out of place. Scott on the other hand, didn't care and owned his very ugly turtleneck. I guess we will know for next year that we need to dress nice! It was great to get out and have a date night. We don't get out that often so it is always a treat! I will post the ugly sweater pics when I find the usb cord for my camera.


The girls and I had a couple of errands to run this morning and then we stopped to grab lunch at Chick fil A. The girls were so excited to get to play. It has been so cold and damp here lately that we haven't been playing outside and they really miss doing that. After lunch we came home and played until it was time for gymnastics. It started snowing outside today and Abby kept begging to go out and play. We didn't go it because I thought it was too cold. Abby was very disappointed, but she got over it by sitting in her window watching the snow fall. Traffic was ridiculous on the way to gymnastics tonight and we ended up being 20 minutes late! I realize it was snowing, but that doesn't mean you have to drive 10 miles per hour in a 50mph! We went out to a restaurant for dinner and the girls were really good. Mckenzie even sat in a high chair for the entire meal. That doesn't make much sense to me. For the longest time, she refused to sit in a high chair, instead preferring to sit on our lap or her knees and now that she is old enough to not use a high chair, she wants to sit in one. Silly kids. The snow has stopped and it was actually pretty nice out this evening. I am hoping to wake up to warmer temps and no snow. Lets see how that goes!


Scott went to school with Abby today. Abby was so excited he went with her. It sounds like they had a great morning together. I am so glad they got to have that time together before Scott leaves. Mckenzie and I stayed in this morning and I actually had a chance to work on Christmas cards. Didn't get them finished, but there is always tomorrow. When I picked Abby up this afternoon, her teacher commented about how quiet she was when Scott was in class with her. We came home and played again. The girls lined up the dining room chairs and played church and school. Abby kept calling me Barb while we played school. She loves being the teacher. Poor Mckenzie has to do whatever Abby tells her. Usually she doesn't care. Scott stayed home with the girls this evening while I went out to finish Christmas shopping and to look for a couple of ugly Christmas sweaters for a holiday party this Friday. I was amazed at how hard it was to find ugly sweaters! I thought they were everywhere since I see so many of them. I ended up finding a terrible sweater vest for myself and a turtleneck for Scott. We are going to be so cool! It was so nice to shop by myself.


We went over to a friend's house for a playdate and lunch today. The girls had lots of fun playing and got along really well. Abby and Mckenzie both threw a little fit when it was time to go, but settled down pretty quickly after I told them they wouldn't get to come back if they kept acting that way. I was going to make some more cookies today, but the grocery store near our house didn't have all the ingredients necessary so I guess it will have to wait another day. We came back home and veged out the rest of the day, playing games and coloring. When Scott got home, we had dinner and a movie in the family room. We watched Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Cute show. Abby enjoyed it and wanted to stay up to watch another movie.


Another cold Monday. I am so not ready for this cold weather. I wish it were summer again... Mckenzie and I dropped Abby at school and took care of a couple of errands. A couple of boys at the grocery store loaded my stuff into my car so I didn't have to stand out in the cold. What a nice treat that was. I always took it for granted in Florida when the bag boys carried your groceries out for ya. I really miss that extra service! A pretty quiet day around here. Just laundry and cleaning and playing with the girls. I made homemade beef stew tonight and it actually turned out pretty good. I am loving the crock pot! It forces us to eat at home if I already have something cooking. We are so terrible about eating out or ordering in. Scott went out with some friends from work to watch the Vikings game tonight. Mckenzie was great about going to bed tonight. Abby, not so much. She kept telling me she wasn't tired and then she decided she was going to stay up until I went to bed. I think she is asleep now. I'm not sure, but she has been quiet and hasn't come out of her room for awhile now. No pics today. Maybe tomorrow...


Mckenzie was restless last night so Scott ended up sleeping on her floor. Luckily, everyone slept in this morning after our long day yesterday. Abby woke up first and asked to watch tv in our room. I said yes so then she asked if she could have cold cereal while she watched tv. I said yes to that too. She ran downstairs to get her breakfast herself and returned with just the box of cereal wanting to eat it straight from the box. Silly girl! At least it is one less dish to wash! We all finally got going for the day, but didn't do much at all. Scott was disappointed that the Vikings game was postponed since he was actually going to get to watch it on tv today. Crazy thing that the roof of the dome collapsed! Glad nobody was injured. Mckenzie was in such a loving mood today and kept giving me big hugs. Abby too. I love moments likeAfter lunch, Scott took the girls out to do a little Christmas shopping and I took a nap. I love taking naps! We took the easy way out for dinner and ordered in. Gave the girls a bath and sent them off to bed. Scott and I picked up the house tonight. I don't know how this house can get so messy every day! Blows my mind!


What an adventurous day! We decided to take the girls to NYC to see the tree in Rockefeller Center. After breakfast and a bath, we headed to the train station. The girls were good on the trip there. Abby spent most of her time watching the "beautiful" scenery. Her words, not mine. The train doesn't run through the nicest areas. When we got to NYC, it was a beautiful day. The weather was perfect for walking around. We took the girls to get some lunch and then walked around. We stopped in the Hershey store and got the girls some candy. There were so many people out and about. There were lines to get into many of the stores and the streets were difficult to navigate with two strollers! The store windows were decorated for the holidays and it was so neat to see them. Some were absolutely gorgeous!  We made it to the tree and it was a mob scene. But, we got to see the tree! I can check that one off my bucket list! Mckenzie had fallen asleep but she woke up just before we were leaving the area so she got to see it too. Abby was upset we couldn't get closer. Scott and I were wishing we had been smarter and chosen a better day to go! We walked down to FAO Schwartz and there was a huge line to get into the store, but luckily, we got right in since we had strollers. There were so many toys. Abby loved the Barbie stuff and Mckenzie just looked around at everything. We stopped for dinner at the Brooklyn Diner. Nice place, but way overpriced! The kids' meals must have been $15 a piece! We made our way back to the train station. Mckenzie was getting tired and grumpy. She wanted to walk instead of riding in her stroller. Then she wanted to be carried. Abby was great and didn't complain at all. She is really growing up! We made it onto the train just in time and found our seats. Both girls were restless on the train, but it was understandable since it was past bedtime. Our train stopped on the tracks and we were told we were delayed for just a little bit. The girls were playing around, moving from seat to seat and Mckenzie fell off the seat and cut her lip. Poor baby! Then the train conductor announced that our train was now out of service because of a police investigation on the tracks ahead of us. Turns out the train in front of us hit a trespasser on the tracks. Craziness. So, here is was after 10:30pm and we had no idea how the the trains would be delayed or if they were even going to run again that night. There was no employee from the NJ Transit available and the phone line was automated with no answer. The girls were really good once we got inside the train station. Abby played her leapster and Mckenzie buttoned and unbuttoned her sweater over and over. We finally took a taxi to our car. It was a long, scary ride with a dude that looked like he was about to fall asleep at any moment. I kept coughing and making noises to help keep the driver awake. Abby fell asleep in the taxi as soon as I told her it was okay to suck her thumb this one time and Mckenzie fell asleep about half way to our car. But, we made it safely and that is what matters. A quick drive home and we pulled into our driveway just after one am! Poor Dakota had been in her kennel for a long time and couldn't wait to get outside. All in all, it was a nice experience. I am so glad we all got to see the tree in Rockefeller Center. I would go back to see it again, but never again on a Saturday night and I would never go back just to see the tree again. It was pretty, but it looks so much more impressive on tv than in real life to me! And, if the next time we are returning from NYC the train in front of us hits a person again, I think we will have to find another way to get there. This is the second trip to NYC on the NJ Transit and this is the second time the train in front of us has hit a person on the tracks.

So the tree is behind us, but we couldn't get a good pic of us and the tree!

Working so hard on those buttons in the train station!


Scott had a late sim last night and didn't get home until after midnight. But, he passed his sim check so that is good! Both girls had a great night and Mckenzie came over to our room around 7am and fell back to sleep. Scott took Abby to school and Mckenzie slept until 9:30! The house was so quiet! I didn't know what to do. I started working on addressing Christmas cards, but only got a couple done before Mckenzie woke up. Abby had a great day at school and she was so excited to see us when Mckenzie and I picked her up. I love her loud squeals when she sees us! Abby saw Mckenzie was wearing a different coat than she had been and wondered where her new coat was. When we got home, I showed Abby her winter coat and she decided she didn't like it and she would prefer to have a coat just like her sister. It turned into this huge tantrum and she ended up in time out. She behaved much better the rest of the day and even apologized (unprompted) for her behavior last night, saying from now on she would eat her dinner so she wasn't hungry at bedtime. I baked some peanut butter blossoms today and both girls helped me. I think we may have gotten more ingredients on the floor, but they love to help me bake. Once we had the batter mixed, Mckenzie's job was to unwrap all the Hershey's kisses and Abby got to roll the dough in sugar and put them on the cookie sheet. Both did a great job of helping and it made baking much more fun. This is the first year I have truly enjoyed holiday baking. I have always done it in the past but it always seemed like so much work. Not this year. It has been fun for me and I hope when the girls are older, they remember baking cookies with me as part of the Christmas tradition. After dinner tonight, the girls performed songs for Scott and I. Abby set up the fireplace hearth as their stage and both girls took turns singing or in Abby's case, just talking. Abby started out singing and then she stopped and said "I'm just going to talk" and started talking about all sorts of random stuff. About how if we want a candy cane, we need a grownup to get it for us and I can't even remember what else. When Mckenzie was singing, she didn't want anyone else to sing with her and kept putting her hand over our mouths to stop us from singing. She tried to sing We Wish You a Merry Christmas and did pretty good for a two year old.  These babes of ours crack me up! Both girls went to bed much better tonight. We plan on going to NYC tomorrow to see the tree in Rockefeller Center so let hope for good weather! It has been way to cold around here lately!


We spent a lot of time running errands today. We drove to the base to do a couple of things there. The first errand took forever and the girls got tired of waiting. There were getting tired and they were hungry. Then we had to run to the clinic to get a referral renewal for Mckenzie's optometry appointment in January. I had tried to do it earlier, but they wouldn't let me and today when I got there, the lady told me (after waiting several minutes for the lady to finish up a personal conversation) that I had to do it over the phone now. They no longer did the paper form. Seriously? Then why the heck did you tell me to come back to fill out the paperwork last time I was there. So, now all of us girls were cranky and ready to head home. We picked up lunch since we had only a short amount of time before we needed to be at Abby's dentist appointment. That went very well. Abby went back by herself and sat very still while they x-rayed her tooth. Good news, the discoloration is normal and her tooth shouldn't fall out any sooner than expected. Yay! When we got home, we made a gingerbread house. The girls had so much fun eating the frosting and decorations. I think it turned out pretty well for our first house! The girls were a bit feisty about bedtime tonight. Abby suddenly decided that she was starving and Mckenzie didn't want to go to bed either. I kept going back and forth between the rooms and it took quite awhile before both girls settled down for the night. I hope tomorrow night is better:)


Abby was very excited to get back to school today. When I dropped her off, I overheard her tell her teacher how much she missed her. I am so glad Abby enjoys school and her teachers. I hope she will continue to enjoy her education throughout her lifetime. Our day was pretty quiet. Kenzie was in the middle of eating her lunch when she decided she was tired and it was time to go to her bed. When we got upstairs and into her bed, she looked at me and told me she was no longer tired, but she was hungry. So, back downstairs we went to finish her lunch. She ended up falling asleep on the couch for about 45 minutes before I had to wake her to pick up Abby from school. Abby gave me the biggest hug today when she got out of class. I love when she does that! I asked her what they were doing in school today and she told me she couldn't tell me because it was a secret. She has been very good at keeping the secret all day too. We played outside for a little bit this afternoon, but the wind was so chilly. Mckenzie is like me and doesn't like the cold. She kept going inside for a few minutes at a time to warm up and then she was ready to be back outside for a few more minutes. I made hot chocolate for the girls when we came in, but neither one touched their drink. Scott was home earlier today than normal. What a nice change. I had a headache so he was nice enough to keep the girls entertained while I took a short nap. We went out to dinner. After finding mouse droppings in the kitchen, I am not really in the mood to be eating from there. I would prefer to move out until I was sure there were no more mice in this place. I don't like mice and I don't want mice around the girls. Scott has set more traps but he thinks the droppings were from the mice we already caught. I hope so. We haven't caught any since he set the traps last night so I am praying we have seen the last of the mice. We tried out a different restaurant tonight. It was decent. They had a good salad bar, but the steak was nothing to brag about. It was late by the time we got home so the girls headed straight to bed. Abby insisted she wasn't tired, but she was asleep within minutes of putting her down. Mckenzie must be tired too, because she hasn't come out of her room yet. That or she is learning to stay in her room at bedtime. As nice as that would be, my wager is she is super tired.


Abby slept through the night and has been feeling fine all day long. I am so glad she seems to be over whatever bug she had yesterday! Mckenzie had a very restless night and I ended up sleeping on her floor. She slept in until 1030 this morning! I can't believe she slept that long! We spent a quiet day at home. The girls played while I did some cleaning. I made an appointment for Abby to get her tooth checked out by the dentist. A couple weeks ago, her tooth collided with another girl's head and it is now slightly discolored. I hope she isn't going to lose it too early and I hope she does ok at the dentist. After getting her filling, she said she never wanted to go back. I hope this appointment makes her remember seeing the dentist isn't a bad thing.  I made baked potato soup tonight for the first time and it was tasty! Mckenzie didn't care for it (I guess she prefers the watered down Campbell's soup version) and Abby only ate a little bit. But, it was really good and very easy to make. Scott and Abby played Connect 4 after dinner while Mckenzie laid down on with me. She was squirming around and before I knew it, she was sound asleep on my chest! Scott carried her up to bed and she didn't even wake up!


Whew! What a long day! It started off nice with breakfast at home and then off to church. We tried out the contemporary service today that caters to the kiddos. It was a bit different, but Abby really seemed to enjoy it so I think we will go to that service again next week. The sermon wasn't as good this week and both Scott and I were very disappointed. It seemed more like a rant than a sermon and I hope this was just a one time thing. We came back home for a bit and then brought the kids back to the church. The youth group was offering babysitting this afternoon for the kids. Abby was excited to go and couldn't wait to get there. Mckenzie acted excited, but Scott and I were betting that she wouldn't want to stay. Turns out we were wrong. She didn't cry or whine when we left. Scott and I went to finish Christmas shopping for the girls. I only have to order one gift and the girls are done!!!! It was nice to get in and out of the store quickly without anyone whining or having to use the restroom! We then grabbed some lunch at one of our favorite places and watched some Vikings football! It was nice to be able to watch a winning game without the distractions we normally have at home. When we picked the girls up from the church, I peeked through the door window first just to see the kids. Mckenzie was having fun, talking to another little girl. Abby was kind of off by herself, sucking her thumb and holding lambie (that should have been my first cue something wasn't right with her!). Both girls were excited to see us and Abby didn't want to leave. The kids got to make some crafts and watch movies. It sounded like they had a lot of fun and we may have found a couple of babysitters out of the whole thing too! Mckenzie fell asleep on the ride home and took a short nap. I took a nap too while Scott and Abby just hung out. Scott and the girls were headed out to the store when poor Abby threw up in the foyer. When I told her she couldn't go to school tomorrow, she was so disappointed. That upset her more than throwing up! She has been sick all night so far and just fell asleep on the couch. I am hoping she gets some good rest and feels better tomorrow. I hate seeing her sick :(
Btw, we got the proofs today from our photos taken last week. I will attach the link if you want to see the pictures.  It is only good until Tuesday so you have to check it out quickly! http://www.emaphotography.com/slideshow/riley/


A wonderful Saturday morning. The girls both slept in which was very nice. Now, if only we didn't have to get up so many times in the middle of the night with both of them. Abby ended up sleeping in our bed again. I have no idea what time she came over but I have given up on sending her back to bed. It takes way more effort to get her back to sleep in her own room than it does to let her sleep with us. I forgot to move Buddy the Elf last night before we went to bed, so I had to race downstairs before the girls saw he hadn't moved! We had a late breakfast and then headed out to run some errands. We were looking at toys in the store today and the girls seemed to want everything! It is so fun to watch them play with the toys. I know most days I am very impatient when it comes to them playing in the store, but having Scott along made it much easier! We spent most of the afternoon driving around. Both girls fell asleep in the car on the drive home. We spent the rest of the evening hanging out at home, playing games with the girls. At dinnertime, Abby and Mckenzie decided to share a bowl of food and Abby fed Mckenzie. It was cute to watch them share so well. Mckenzie had another one of her terrible fits. I hope this isn't going to be a very long, drawn out phase that she is going through. It is very cold here and I guess that means winter had really set in :(


Scott didn't have to work until later this morning, so I took Abby to school by myself. I like my alone time with her because it is so rare these days. I miss our one on one time before Mckenzie came along, but I wouldn't change that for anything. I just need to be better at spending time with each child separately. After class, the girls and I had a playdate at Chick fil A. The girls were both so excited when I told them. It was cute to watch! They all had a great time playing and did so without any major problems. Mckenzie got scared one time when she got separated from Abby and she was surrounded by a bunch of other kids. But, a few minutes of mommy time and she was good to go. Oh, and the pacifier helped a little too! We ran to Target to pick up a step stool for Mckenzie's bed, but they were out of stock. Seriously?! I really need one and they only have the single step stools, not the double. I will have to see if I can find one tomorrow. The kids were misbehaving so much that I didn't want to keep looking. We can home and Mckenzie fell asleep on the drive. I was able to put her up in her room and she took a nap. Abby and I had fun playing piano and singing together. I played We Wish You a Merry Christmas while she sang. I think she could have kept singing all day long! It was so fun! When Mckenzie woke up, we had to run an errand and then we stopped at the Hallmark to pick up our Elf on The Shelf. It is this great book that comes with an elf that watches over the children during Christmas and then he reports their behavior to Santa. So, every night, the elf flies to the North Pole to talk with Santa and then he reappears in a different spot in your house each day. I think it will be a neat tradition to start. The girls named him Buddy. If left to their own devices, I am not sure what they would have named him, but I placed plenty of hints for the name so that is what they picked! Abby always seems to pick out of the ordinary names for her dolls that I can't pronounce, so I wanted something a little easier for us all! The girls are having a sleepover in Mckenzie's room tonight. It is hilarious to watch them on the video monitor. They are getting along so well right now. They are not getting to sleep, but it's a weekend. Maybe they will sleep in! HAHAHA!!!
Buddy the Elf!

She doesn't like the flash!


We had family photos taken today. I wanted to get some pictures of Scott and the girls before he leaves. I know he is going to be safe, but I would never, ever forgive myself if something happened to him and the girls didn't have a recent picture taken with him. The gal who took our photos was great. She really seemed to connect with the kids. Mckenzie didn't want to cooperate towards the end, but she found a way to make it work. Abby, of course, loved having her picture taken by herself. She loves to pose and she had plenty of opportunity to do that today. I am so excited to see the pictures. She said we should have them in a few days!  When we got home, Scott took apart the crib (for the last time) and put up Mckenzie's big girl bed! I am happy and sad all at the same time. We closed a chapter in our life today. We have no more babies in our house. I am excited though, that we have a preschooler and a toddler running around. They are so much fun and I thank God for them every day. Mckenzie liked her new bed, but she can't get up without a step yet. One of the things I forgot to buy for her room. Guess I will need to go to Target tomorrow! Scott had to fly tonight, so the girls and I spent the afternoon together. I was busy sorting through Mckenzie's clothes and the girls, for the most part, were playing very nicely together. I heard a few disagreements, but they managed to work most of them out themselves. The last one though, was a doozey! Mckenzie wanted Abby's leapster and threw the biggest fit I have ever seen her throw. She was screaming and crying so loudly and for so long, I didn't know what to do. Holding her, singing to her, none of it worked. She finally ran to our bathroom to be alone and instead of following her, I let her be. A minute or two later, she ran to me and crawled onto my lap and eventually, she fell asleep. I was blown away by her tantrum. She has never acted like that before and Abby has never had a tantrum like that either. So, she took her first nap on her big girl bed this afternoon and she was out. I didn't want her to sleep for too long, so I vacuumed her room and even that didn't wake her. I ended up waking her and we ran a couple of errands. Both girls were great in the store. I had a school board meeting tonight at the house so the girls didn't get to bed until pretty late. I didn't want to try earlier to put Mckenzie to bed since she napped so late in the day and I know it would have been quite the struggle to get her to bed. Both girls went to bed without difficulty. Mckenzie only climbed down from her bed once and Abby was out before her head hit the pillow! Lets hope both girls sleep in their own bed all night long! I know we have a big bed now, but I would prefer not to share it with anyone else!


Scott trapped another unwanted visitor this morning. I hope this isn't a sign that we have lots of mice living in our house. If we find more, I may be living in a hotel until the problem is fixed! After dropping Abby at school, Mckenzie and I headed out to run errands. It was so cold and rainy and windy that I would have rather gone home and turned on the fireplace, but we were all out of milk and the girls love their milk! So, we did a little Christmas shopping and picked up a few more things for Mckenzie's big girl room. We came home and hung out for a little while. I was talking on the phone and noticed the family room was very quiet. Turns out Mckenzie had fallen asleep on the floor. She looked so sweet that I couldn't wake her. This afternoon, the girls and I started making Christmas treats. They helped me make chocolate covered pretzels. I think they preferred eating the chocolate over actually making the treat!

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